Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So long cruel winter

From my windows in March the world is a tangle of dry bramble, skinny deprived branches scattered over a low, frozen sky and hesitant birds that scuttle through soggy brush, fat and slow in winter their down.

A vast improvement from the scrawling mess and drear of February, the utter absence of hope.

In a matter of weeks and then days, things change. At first a more favorable rotation, then the gentle gilding of the sun gives way to thorough solar impregnation. The world is a riot of blossoms and buds and birdsong. Everything drinks in the warmth and the light and the rich fertile atmosphere.

Finally, we emerge from winter with a slow kindling of life, mounting before our eyes. Then in those first few days of long sunshine and air thick with pollen and wings, Spring born. The ground is a dynamic carpet of life - nests and burrows and nascent plants all shimmering in richness of ancient sea bed. The camellia tree with its hundred red flowers, vibrates with a dozen hummingbirds and five times as many honeybees, droning for sweet nectar.

The pear tree, once utterly lifeless, timidly sprouts pale green buds - they pulse bigger and more complex, then you see how this is an incubating, unabashed flower. Blackberry brambles once left to drown in the dark neglect of winter, revive - their once barren stalks bearing spines of hardy young leaves. Overnight, raspberries and mint put forth shiny green tips, confidently stretching upward to meet the delicious radioactive ambrosia.

The animals execute their prayers of passion, their singular way of being alive - uncomplicated, without ambition or regret.

Duos of birds soar in exhuberant arcs, drawing halos of simple joy in the gentle morning sky. Shy rabbits make steady and effective work, giving to and taking from the grasses, so they are a rich emerald, blades thick and glossy. Giant bumble bees, solid as baby mice, hover along the ground, nesting beneath strawberry leaves and at the base of a pink-blossomed cedar. The deer wait in the forest behind our field, ducked behind leaves that spread open in slow motion, hands reaching out to hold the sun.

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